Despite loosing the 2015 presidential election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it achieved notable milestones in the area of economic development, national integration and attraction of foreign investments in the past 17 years to warrant rolling out drums for celebrations.
The party said though it had accepted its loss to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last election in good faith, it did not believe the outcome was due to poor performance by the government it led.
Addressing journalists at the PDP national secretariat monday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said PDP had shown strength as the only Nigerian political party that was completely owned and controlled by the Nigerian people.
Speaking on why his party lost the elections despite the long list of achievements reeled out, Metuh said the party’s loss during the last election had nothing to do with the performance in government, adding that the party is still studying the situation and will make its findings known at the appropriate time.
On whether neglect of zoning also contributed to the loss of the party during the election, he said the party was yet to take a stand on reasons for its loss at the election and that anyone saying anything on that was only expressing his personal opinion.
According to him, until the Ekwerenmadu committee submits its report before that the party can make its position known on the matter.
However, Metuh said though there are genuine cases of aggrieved members, most of the defections suffered by the party were due to their inability to survive stiff competition for relevance.
He said the PDP still stands tall in history as the first political party in Nigeria to nurture and sustain democratic system of government and a stable polity uninterrupted for 17 years.
Metuh who listed several achievements recorded under the PDP administration, said when the party took office in 1999, it quickly formed government and vigorously applied itself to service, initiating reforms, and facing the challenges inherited from past military regimes, without resorting to blames, blackmail and propaganda.
“To reposition the economy for greater productivity, successive PDP administrations applied an economic policy, which enhanced a dynamic economy, in which market forces are combined with the forces of partnership, solidarity and cooperation to boost private sector participation and emergence of an empowered middle class system in the country.
“As you are aware, the hallmark of the PDP administration was anchored on the policy of transfer of wealth from the public sector to hardworking and enterprising Nigerians. This resulted in the rapid expansion of the nation’s economic frontiers with an unprecedented growth in small and medium scale enterprises, which helped in providing employment for millions of our citizens across the country.
Metuh said that PDP did a lot to put in place a conducive environment for business to thrive in the country and for the economy to blossom.
“I believe that we did our best for the country and that the party made people to once again have faith in the affairs of the country and that some Nigerians from the Disapora came back to the country due the the confidence they had in the PDP-led administration.”
On the fight against corruption, he said what the party did was to put in place adequate legal measures to fight corruption in line with the provisions of the constitution, adding that at no time did the party encourage hounding of innocent persons or persecuting persons with opposing views.
“The PDP government, in the same vein, immediately established the two major anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), with strict establishing and operation laws to ensure effectiveness and immunity from executive interferences. Down the years, Servicom desks were opened in ministries and agencies to further ensure ethical standards in government businesses.
But there were clear signs yesterday that the PDP is still battling to recover from the shock of its defeat at the polls as there was nothing to suggest any celebration to mark the anniversary except for the press conference addressed by the party’s national publicity secretary. The national secretariat is still wearing its old looks while activities were at a low ebb,” he said.